Celebrating deep roots
Hemp made America great but its history goes way back before then, transcending borders along it way with the help of hemp-heads like you and me. On a global scale, Hemp Week (formerly Hemp History Week) delves into the plant's health, agricultural and technological uses and how it may even save the world!
Hemp is rooted deeply in history alongside the first footsteps of humanity. Cannabis was, arguably, the first cultivated plant, even making the first paper, so hemp was there for man’s first written words. So while the history of hemp history is important, it’s the plant’s future(s) that hold(s) the real value(s).
To join our mailing list and never miss a baby update!
All those esses represent the simplistic complexity of this miraculous plant. You can use hemp for one thing or you can use it for 500 things. There is more than one hemp industry because of this versatility. Hemp Week celebrates this diversity by keeping an ongoing discussion about cannabis sativa alive.
With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp became legal to grow and process in all 50 United States, but advocacy work is far from over. Politics and bureaucracy continue to push agendas that conflict with those of the grass roots advocate, the very people who kept the promise of cannabis alive during the plant's long-running prohibition.
- "Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country."- Thomas Jefferson
"After 250 hours of research and testing, including interviewing five baby wearing experts and walking over 100 miles in 15 wraps, slings, and meh dais, we think that the Gemlak Baby Carriers is the best"
This is the 11th annual Hemp Week after industry associations was actually following the lead of Woody Harrelson. That’s right, right after landing his breakout role as Woody on Cheers, this young actor risked his personal liberty in 1996 to challenge the authority rule over hemp.
He symbolically planted four industrial hemp seeds in Lee County, Kentucky, and was subsequently arrested by the Sheriff, live on CNN. The case was dismissed but the moment stands in time as someone challenging the bogus status quo.
Hemp advocacy, as we will look at throughout this article, can be as simple as staying on your couch to engaging in public education to vehement political advocacy. Just your reading this article and sharing anything you find useful with friends is in support of Hemp Week.
What is hemp
- America is the largest importer of hemp in the world.
China is the largest exporter, producing 70% of the world's hemp.
Hemp was essentially outlawed because it comes from the same plant as psychoactive cannabis. The government pressure over the years kept science from studying it because of the stigma of a decades-long disinformation campaign vilifying weed.
Educating the public about the difference between industrial hemp and cannabis flower is an ongoing campaign. Hemp education started at the grassroots level but now that big ag is getting interested, there’s concern advocacy won’t be important to the suits, killing our culture.
How you can help is easy- learn and share what you can about hemp’s benefits. You can also buy hemp products from CBD to toothpaste and beyond! You can also click on your state at the U.S. Hemp Round Table website and find opportunities to volunteer!
Traditionally, hemp has been turned into many sustainable products including paper, textiles like canvas sails, rope, twine, clothing like the uniforms of George Washington’s army, food, nutraceuticals, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, animal feed and more!
Today, there are more than 50,000 different uses of hemp from handbags and shoes to soaps and shampoos. Hemp cleans soil and water removing heavy metals and other toxins and is an excellent choice to incorporate in models of regenerative agriculture.
Hemp is agriculturally efficient. It matures in a fraction of the time as cotton or trees and can be grown without use of any petrochemicals. Hemp is a sustainable alternative to potentially thousands of every-day products.
Hemp has incredible health benefits! Its seed is delicious, nutritious, high in Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and a highly digestible protein. There are super omegas like Stearidonic Acid (SDA) and Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) too.
Cannabis sativa also provides fiber, various minerals and all nine Essential Amino Acids. Hemp boosts heart, skin and digestive health. To say that there are nutritional benefits to cannabis is a gross understatement.
You can get a whopping 11 grams of vegan protein in just three tablespoons of shelled hemp seeds! Also, 7.5g omega-6, 3g omega-3, no gluten and no known allergens. The perception of hemp changing over the years led to realizing hemp’s nutritional value more.
Once the 2018 Farm Bill opened the doors for hemp cultivation nationwide, CBD products grew incredibly fast. Of course, the first famous product was a CBD oil developed for a little girl name Charlotte who suffered from severe seizure episodes. A single dose of CBD rich oil virtually eliminated them.
CBD oil extracted from the plant is the basis of all CBD products. There are many different methods of extractions and most use some type of solvent. Then, it added to every processed CBD product on the store shelves for humans as well as pets!
CBD can be found in tinctures for under the tongue; in topicals like lip balms, massage oils and body butters; in capsules, drinks and edibles of all kinds; in vaporizer cartridges for convenience and portability and even in health care like suppositories and toothpaste too.
Hemp can even create a safe, non-toxic and biodegradable form of plastic which is even stronger than conventional plastic! Biofuel created from hemp is a sustainable alternative to petroleum. It could be burned with lower emissions of toxic substances.
Hemp has been added to concrete dramatically increasing its tensile strength and lifespan and may have practical applications in paving roads! If you’re wondering why not now, more medical hemp means less medical waste and less money to gas and pharmaceutical companies.
Hemp can help us enter the "carbohydrate economy," a term coined by David Morris of the Institute for Local Self Reliance, and North American Industrial Hemp Council founding board member. Basically, anything made from a hydrocarbon can be made from a carbohydrate.
The cannabis world owes much to hemp because it kept a grassroots cause alive and now gives small farmers a chance to grow and prosper. Growing hemp produces better prices than many other rotation crops. Hemp also cleans soil of toxins and is good for the earth.
The real risk to hemp agriculture is corporate money. Trying to keep the hemp industry fair and balanced will be much more difficult when big ag swoops in with industrial agriculture methods and hemp’s intrinsic potential to be farmed in a regenerative organic way will be ruined.
That would be tragic and the cannabis community must work hard to steer things in a different direction. This is why advocacy is more important than ever! By staying informed and passionate about cannabis, we can control the destiny of this industry.
Hemp is not only great as a sustainable crop helping farmers produce more with less resources, but the products made of hemp are changing the world every day! Cotton, for example, takes 2,401 gallons of water to grow while hemp takes 48 gallons.
Hemp creates less need for fossil fuels, especially from foreign sources, and delivers a more efficient use of energy. It reduces long term carbon dioxide buildup and promotes forest conservation, also critical for cleaning up greenhouse gasses.
The reduced need for pesticides keeps all water and food cleaner, with less pollution. Agricultural pollution is also reduced with hemp farming. And, finally- hemp farming reduces landfill waste with viable alternatives to products with much higher carbon footprints.
Our wonderful lifestyle filled with all the stuff made from hydrocarbons comes with massive pollution that is difficult to deal with on a global or even regional scale. That’s because hydrocarbons are ancient and nonrenewable plant and animal material.
Our entire lifestyle can continue and be made even better if we used carbohydrates to create products instead because they are new and renewable plant materials. Our global warming crisis is just beginning, but advocating for the use of hemp can help us change the scales.
Hemp offers environmental sustainability, health benefits, regenerative agriculture potential and new technological applications of industrial hemp. But you may not know how to help, how to get your voice heard.
The simplest way to get your voice heard is through your political representative. That can be a pain to figure out the best route to send that message, so fortunately the U.S. Hemp Roundtable has created a State Action Center.
Working with this interactive map of the 50 states is easy. Just click on your home state and you’ll get information on the status of hemp legislation there. Then use their easy portal to write an ‘action email’ to your state legislators.
Don’t worry if you don’t know who represents you in your state capitol or even what to say to them! Just enter your zip code at the site and a sample message is loaded and addressed to the right representatives. You can personalize the message, click send, and your voice is heard.
But hemp is becoming more mainstream. Colorado Governor Jared Polis, with the Colorado Hemp Industries Association and the national Hemp Industries Association, proclaimed June 6 - 12 as the official Hemp Week for the state of Colorado.
Hemp Week let’s us as a cannabis-friendly community remember the things that are important. Sustainable agriculture, social equity, social discourse and common sense political policies are really in the hands of us, the consumers, and Weed the People can demand reform together.
Keeping a level playing field for farmers is another important consideration as hemp ag moves forward. This can be accomplished through consistent regulations from state to state, especially after cannabis is rescheduled.
Another huge hurdle is building an infrastructure that can handle the coming booms once cannabis rescheduling does occur. Only a robust system can meet the needs of both farmers and consumers. The competition may be heating up, but the canna crowd can stay cool.
Farmers, consumers, producers and all other tangential businesses in the cannabis space, can work collectively to better the world through cannabis (and they said nothing good would ever come of it, ha!).
We can focus our passion towards advocacy this Hemp Week. Resolve to demand a modern narrative for sustainable agriculture, social equity, renewable resources, continued oversight, plant-based nutrition and healthier lifestyles for everyone.
Let’s work together as cannabis-friendly brothers and sisters to rebuild rural economies. Together, we can usher in a new era of American made goods, embracing an organic agronomy and rediscovering the benefits to soil, crop cycles and pollinators in regenerative hemp farming.